Cyrus Thatcher was a teenager from Reading who joked that his atrocious spelling was typical of a young infantryman. Yet this Remembrance Sunday his words will echo out across a West End theatre alongside those of the noted poet Wilfred Owen – another soldier who died in battle.
Actor Jason Isaacs, famed for his roles in the Harry Potter films, will be reading out Rifleman Thatcher’s letters at Eloquent Protest – a powerful piece of theatre fusing poetry, music and drama to honour the fallen.
The actor, who worked extensively with soldiers while filming Paul Greengrass’s thriller Green Zone alongside Matt Damon recently, said he had developed a nuanced understanding and enormous respect for the men and women of the forces and their pride in putting their training into action. But he said it was also important to remember the toll war took on those coming home. Among others appearing will be actor Sam West, who will be reading Wilfred Owen’s “Futility”, and former SAS soldier Ben Griffin, who will be reading Siegfried Sassoon’s, “A Soldier’s Declaration”.
8 November at Duke of York’s Theatre in London. Proceeds from the £18 tickets will go to the Mark Wright Project, set up in honour of the 27-year-old Corporal from the 3rd Battalion, The Parachute Regiment, who was killed when British forces first went into Helmand in 2006 to help ex-servicemen and women overcome the mental wounds of war.